Home again

We had a great week by the lake. Some highlights:

My brother in law brought his new girlfriend along, and we all unanimously adore her. His ex-wife, I hate to say it, but she must have been unhappy in the marriage for a looooooong time before we realized it, and she was always a bit of a downer at family gatherings. The new girlfriend is fantastic, fits right in with the rest of the family, would make an awesome stepmom for my nieces, and is just an all-around good egg. Plus she has no family of her own so she is always available to do stuff with us. :-)

Sailing was good, especially with Jay. He finally started to catch on to the thrill of it. In the past he’s always been the bored teenager, or the bored 10yo, or the bored 7yo, but this year hubby and I made a point of taking him out, just the three of us, and insisting that he take over as skipper. As he sat there with the rudder in one hand and the mains’l sheet in the other, it suddenly clicked for him and he said “wow, it’s an amazing feeling when the rudder answers.” Oh yes it is! And we especially loved that he used the word answers. :-)

We played tons of games. We taught Elle how to play Hearts — that was a mommy moment for sure! Also, she also finally learned to do the bridge (shuffling) which she has been working on for a long time. Awwwww!

We also played quite a bit of our favorite board game, Wise and Otherwise. This game is basically the same as fictionary, only with proverbs. You are given the first half of an old proverb, for example, “There is an old Italian saying: The chestnut is for . . .” Everyone writes down what they think is a plausible second half of the sentence. One person reads them all aloud and everyone votes on which they think is the true one. Just like in fictionary, you get a point if someone votes for yours, and you also get a point if you vote for the true one. This is the most awesome game for family gatherings ever. Little kids can play just as well as grownups, and every round is hilarious. My one criticism about this game is they made it a lot more complicated than it needs to be, with playing pieces, a board, extra rules, etc. All you really need are the cards with the proverbs, pencils and paper. This shouldn’t be a competitive game; it’s about laughing and having fun together. In fact we ended up giving a lot of “ghost votes” to show appreciation for proverbs we knew were not correct, but were too clever or funny to pass by.

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Folie à deux

So, I’ve returned to blogging only to leave again. Tomorrow we are off for a week’s vacation, lakeside. While the kids do their thing, hubby and I will spend our afternoons zipping across the lake in a Flying Scot. Not bad, but we are the little dog that thinks it is a big dog. Because in our joint imaginations hubby and I are actually sailing one of these:

And as we zigzag back and forth across the little lake in the little dinghy we will speak to each other in all the Age of Sail jargon we can dredge up from our Patrick O’Brian-saturated brains. We’ll pretend to tie Matthew Walkers. We’ll quote poetry about “th’impervious horrors of a leeward shore.” We’ll trim the mains’l, we’ll batten the hatches, we’ll call out “the boat, ahoy” as we approach other vessels and if they get in our way we’ll call them “scrubs” or (worse) “dutch-built slab-sided buggers.” We’ll point out landmarks that are “two points off the larboard bow” or “abaft the beam.” We’ll imagine that we’re in the Mediterranean… or perhaps we’re rounding Cape Horn… or no, wait, we’re in the Indian Ocean… or *shiver* the North Atlantic.

See you next week!